BWW Review: FACULTY RECITAL at FSW BlackBox Theater

BWW Review: FACULTY RECITAL at FSW BlackBox Theater

BWW Review: FACULTY RECITAL at FSW BlackBox TheaterMembers of the music faculty at Florida SouthWestern State College stepped from behind their desks to present the school's second annual faculty recital on April 26, 2017. The concert was held in the confined space of the BlackBox Theater since, as emcee Dr. Tom Smith lamented, the college has no dedicated recital hall. He directed a plea to remedy that situation to DR. Martin McClinton, Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, who was part of the standing room only crowd. McClinton replied that all that is needed is an extra five million dollars. Oh, well.

The lack of amenities did not hamper the production of a wide variety of music. Thirteen professors played classical and jazz pieces alone or in ensembles.

Three of the professors also perform professionally with the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, so being in such proximity as they played was a special treat.

Symphony Concertmaster Reiko Niiya's face showed the emotion she poured into a Handel sonata and particularly the theme from the movie Schindler's List. Rachel Cox, also a violinist with the orchestra, played instead a powerful Passacaglia on an Old English Tune by (gasp!) a female composer, Rebecca Clarke. Percussionist Todd Betz offered up French Suite for Percussion, featuring three dance forms. Betz is also the drum line instructor instructor at the college as it expands its athletic programs.

The performance also included two trumpeters, two guitarists, a flutist, and multiple pianists. Among those, Mary Griffin Seal did a yeoman's (or woman's) job. Besides her own solo piece, she accompanied soprano Candace Sundby and trumPeter Smith, and joined with Elena Bock in two delightful four-handed piano "sketches."

Rounding out the program were Tony Castillo on trumpet, Ken Puls on acoustic guitar, and Mike Molloy on electric guitar, Molloy also works as the sound man at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on campus and is the teaching in FSW's new audio tech certificate program.

As a demonstration of advanced musical theory, Ron Doiron "composed" Sonata for 5 in 6, three movements totaling six minutes for himself, Cox, Smith, flutist Kelly O'Neil, and Betz. This piece consisted of each musician playing whatever he or she wished and in whatever key. Betz served as the timekeeper by means of a crash of cymbals and what sounded like coconut horse hooves. I confess, this one was beyond me. I hope Doiron's students in attendance understood it better than I did.

The afternoon concluded with a rousing jazz trio by Smith, Molloy, and Betz.

Smith indicated they might consider two recitals next year instead of waiting until spring. If word gets out about the caliber of music, they way well outgrow the small BlackBox. Any millionaire concert lovers out there? Wouldn't you love to have a recital hall named after you?


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Fran Thomas Fran Thomas co-authored a play when she was in fourth grade primarily so she could have the leading role. She has loved theater ever since. A transplanted Pittsburgher, she now makes her home in Southwest Florida.